The Play Develops Essay
The Play Develops
Eddie, Beatrice and Catherine, living a cocooned life in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Then came Marco and Rodolpho, Beatrice’s cousins from Italy, and their insignificant world was turned upside down, and a series of events lead to Eddie’s demise. During the first act of the play, there are three important events to take into consideration when discussing Eddie and Beatrice’s relationship. Catherine is offered a job and is delighted at the opportunity to earn money and become a working woman. However, she wants to gain Beatrice’s support before telling Eddie about this chance. When she does tell Eddie he is defiant that she will not take this job.
This upsets Catherine because she needs Eddie’s approval, as she sees him as a father figure. Beatrice encourages Catherine, but Eddie is pessimistic about the whole opportunity. He makes up excuses as to why she shouldn’t accept the job; such as “I don’t like that neighbourhood over there. ” In reality Eddie is keen to protect her a while longer, and he doesn’t want to let her go and gain independence. In Eddie’s eyes, no one is good enough for Catherine, and he doesn’t want her to be talked about the way Longshoreman talk about other girls. Eddie never admits to protecting Catherine, and Beatrice never actually says this, but it is implied.
This is one trait of their relationship- Beatrice’s respect for Eddie in the way that although many things are implied, Beatrice never comes out and says them in case she offends Eddie. This is obvious in the first act of the play, but towards the end this changes. This is also one of the first times there is an implication of an unnatural relationship between Eddie and Catherine. Eddie loves her greatly, and Catherine sees him as a father figure, but Beatrice can see a different side to Eddie’s love, and implies that he loves her in the wrong way. This is only implied all the way through the play, until right at the end.
Before the cousins arrive there is an air of expectancy and anticipation. Nai?? ve Catherine asks what happens if someone asks about the cousins, and Eddie is quick to tell her ‘If you said you knew it, if you didn’t say it you didn’t know it. ” There is a code of conduct to be obeyed, and that code is that you never talk about the immigrants or admit knowledge of them- you simply feign ignorance. No one would dare tell the Immigration Bureau for fear of being ostracized from the society. The irony of this code of conduct can be seen later on when Eddie rings the Bureau and snitches on Marco and Rodolpho.
When the cousins finally arrive, there is some chemistry between Catherine and Rodolpho, and the audience can see something may develop between them. Eddie senses this, and when talking to the cousins, focuses his attention on Marco. Catherine and Beatrice appreciate Rodolpho’s good humour and enthusiasm, and this makes Eddie uncomfortable. Eddie attempts to prevent Rodolpho from forming a relationship with Catherine. Beatrice feels he should not be interfering, but only implies this. The cousin’s arrival is a turning point in Eddie’s life, as Catherine starts to gain independence and discover the fact she can love someone who is not Eddie.
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